Seafood in Spotlight During October

Industry groups highlight consumer consumption trends, retail marketing opportunities
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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"Celebrate Seafood" is a new campaign from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, the National Seafood Council Task Force and the Seafood4Health Action Coalition.

As National Seafood Month kicks off Oct. 1, so does a fresh wave of educational and promotional efforts highlighting this particular protein.

For example, a new survey released by the Marine Stewardship Council shows that concerns about sustainability is starting to impact consumers’ choice of foods. Conducted by research firm GlobeScan, the survey revealed that 31% of global respondents who said they have altered their diet in the past two years did so for a variety of environmental reasons. The desire to eat more sustainably-sourced food was chief among those reasons, along with an interest in reducing climate change impact and protecting the oceans.

[Read more: "Strategies for Selling Seafood Post-COVID"]

"Today's consumers are challenged by what may seem like competing priorities – shopping to decrease impact on the environment, purchasing healthy options and staying on budget,” said Nicole Condon, U.S. program director for the Marine Stewardship Council. “As we head into October Seafood Month, it's important for shoppers to know that these purchase drivers don't have to be at odds.” She noted that shoppers can look for the Marine Stewardship Council blue fish logo on seafood products at a variety of price points. 

Other seafood trade groups are scaling up (pun intended) their promotional efforts during October. The National Fisheries Institute, for its part, is celebrating what it calls National Pescatarian Month by updating its Dish on Fish blog to include new recipes, cooking tips, nutritional information, an e-cookbook and more.

“We are so excited to once again amplify the benefits of a fish- and seafood-focused diet through Dish on Fish and its sponsorship of National Pescatarian Month,” said Judy Dashiell, National Fisheries Institute’s SVP. “We’re proud of what we’ve built with this initiative and can’t wait to share it with others here in its third year and beyond.”

Meanwhile, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership is rolling out a pilot campaign, “Celebrate Seafood,” with the National Seafood Council Task Force and the Seafood4Health Action Coalition. As part of the campaign, Seafood Nutrition Partnership created several resources for retailers that share the benefits of eating seafood.

Several grocers are participating in the campaign. Texas retailer H-E-B is running a cross-platform program in store and online that conveys Seafood Nutrition Partnership's message and provides samples supporting the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Best Aquaculture Practices. The seafood department at Weis Markets is also taking part, sharing information on Celebrate Seafood in its magazine and via in-store signage and social media. In addition, a third-party digital advertising program will drive frozen seafood sales at Whole Foods Market and Wegmans, testing sustainability-focused messaging that ties human health with planetary health.

Suppliers are part of Seafood Nutrition Partnership's pilot program as well. Sponsors such as Forever Oceans, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers and Gorton’s Seafood are providing prizes and engagement opportunities.

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